Texas Longhorns: Jaylen Walton

Texas special teams underwhelming

December, 13, 2012
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Texas continues to produce seasons that warrant backward glances, if only to make sure the past stays put. No one wants to relive that again. But the time has come to look over the shoulder and the damage that 2012 hath wrought, where it all went wrong and why it might get better in 2013.

This week, HornsNation takes a look at the 2012 program. Up today is the defense and how it will leave its mark as the worst in Texas history.

On Thursday, room will be saved for punter Alex King, arguably the most consistent and reliable of the 2012 Longhorns, and the special teams unit.


AUSTIN, Texas -- Goal setting can often be a slightly trick proposition around Texas, with the road maps previously used from 2000-09 apparently gone missing.

But, nonetheless, Longhorns coach Mack Brown, in a bold proclamation, had one goal seemingly above all others -- yes, that included picking a quarterback -- as he entered the 2012 season.

"What we do is No. 1 would be to try to have the best kicking game in America," he said on Aug. 4.

Oh boy. Where to begin?

To start let’s give some credit where it is due. Alex King was the most consistent performer on the Texas football team this year. Sure he is a punter. But he was one of the best in America. So, in that sliver of special teams play, Brown got the best in America.

Texas also blocked seven kick attempts, a mean feat by any measure. And the Longhorns finished a successful 25th in the nation in kick return yards (They were 68th in punt returns).

Everywhere else -- meaning those spots where Texas has some of the best athletes and top speed in the country -- well, in a style that pretty much sums up the 2012 program, in as nice as terms as possible, they underperformed. And just like everywhere else in the Texas program, it is hard to fathom why.

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Kenny Vaccaro didn’t care about the 66 points Texas scored.

It was the 31 points that the defense gave up that was driving him crazy.

"We had a lot of big plays but I think a lot of its gets canceled out by the big touchdowns we gave up," the Texas safety said. "You can’t give up big plays."

Concerns arise about Longhorns defense 

September, 16, 2012
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Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz likes to say his unit’s No. 1 goal is holding foes to one fewer point than the Longhorn offense scores.

But what if that offense puts up 66?

By the conditions of his simple directive, Diaz’s defense more than did its job Saturday night against Ole Miss. Texas did win by five touchdowns.

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